Thursday, 7 August 2014

The spoils of Brigade 93, captured by the Islamic State

Boosted by the enormous amount of weaponry captured at Regiment 121 just more than a week ago, fighters of the Islamic State took on another stronghold of the Pro-Assadists in Nothern Syria, Brigade 93. This base was the last remaining non-airbase stronghold of the Pro-Assadists in this region.

BM-21s captured at Regiment 121 were used to attack Brigade 93 before the main assault begun, reportedly setting it ablaze. The base was then attacked by three trucks filled with explosives, clearing a path for the fighters storming the base. During the following attack around ninety fighters of the Islamic State are believed to have died along with around three-hundred Pro-Assadists and another hundred captured. Only a few have been able to evade capture by the Islamic State, with most of the fleeing personnel surrendering in the desert.

Apart from Brigade 93, Kweres airbase has seen increased shelling, and is without a doubt the next target of the Islamic State.

Before the revolution, Brigade 93 was home to around fity tanks, seventeen howitzers, numerous anti-aircraft guns, countless trucks and various other armoured fighting vehicles. Although some of this equipment may have been distributed to other bases, most was still believed to have been present on the base during the attack.

Footage and images of fighters of the Islamic State in the base shows at thirty T-55s, two BRDM-2s, ten 122mm D-30 howitzer and one 130mm M-46 field-gun captured.

The Islamic State also captured on of its first self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (SPAAGs). Althugh originally designed to attack air targets, the four 23mm guns of the ZSU-23 are often used against ground targets. Yet transferring the system to the Iraqi battlefield would pose a serious threat to the Iraqi Air Force (IQAF), which has no means of defending its choppers against the radar guided ZSU-23.

The two remaining Pro-Assadists strongholds in Nothern Syria, Kweres airbase and Tabqa airbase are obviously next on the list. The first was the main training base of the Syrian Arab Air Force before the revolution, housing three squadrons worth of MBB-SIAT 223K1 Flamingos, PAC MFI-17 Mushshaks, Mi-2s and L-39s.

With most planes on the base already been destroyed or damaged beyond repair by the constant shelling of the base, and with the Islamic State seemingly not interested in working on any of the L-39s captured at Kshesh (Jirah) given they're still operational, the chances of seeing the Islamic State operating planes or helicopters in the near future remain small.

Tabqa airbase is home to at least two squadrons operating MiG-21s and has provided most of the air support for Pro-Assadists in the North. Although operating captured MiG-21s might be a step too far, Tabqa also houses numerous radars and anti-aircraft guns, an interesting booty for the Islamic State.

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The spoils of Regiment 121, captured by the Islamic State


  1. With the videos of the beheading of captured Syrian soldiers one would think that the remaining ones would fight to the death. with all that firepower, tanks howizters I would think they could withstand an assault. New protocol at Syrian bases should be to annihilate any vehicle that approaches to cut down on the vehicle bombs used by ISIS.

  2. You think IS is a child boys team, it took on the US from the outset joining up with AQ with zhaqawari leading the charge. They defeated the US militarily and the US COIN strategy was a failure until another part of the insurgency SAHWA tribal forces turned on them because they were too brutal. This time no tribal groups lead the insurgency and the IS are very much forcused on traitors. hate IS methods but their effective no one will be able to stop their advance for the foreseeable. They have shown to destroy large conventional army static position and overrun them not even the taliban are at such an level, its over for assad IS wins all and i think jordan and saudia will be next before iran. US is too broke to fix anything and plus it will only make it worse they can't fight on 2 frons no more its either engage china or come back to the ME. Fr US interests china is the immediate danger.

  3. Im not looking to get into a political discussion here as you appear to want Im just pointing out what would make sense from a military perspective.

  4. to answer your question. Yes they are child soldiers being manipulated by a few very evil men. US coin Strategy was a success. if it wasnt they would have been successful in Iraq. they werent. IS is at its peak now and will slowly be marginalized again. America won't have to take care of IS, Middle Eastern s states will finally wake up and do it themselves.

  5. And today IS has lost this base to the Euphrates Volcano alliance.